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Wagner: Parsifal (Baden-Baden Festspielhaus)
Christopher Ventris (Parsifal); Waltraud Meier (Kundry); Matti Salminen (Gurnemanz); Thomas Hampson (Amfortas); Tom Fox (Klingsor);
Ever since the world premiere of Parsifal at Bayreuth on 26th July 1882, the meaning of Richard Wagner's last opera has been widely discussed. Nikolaus Lehnhoff's visionary staging of this emotionally charged opera reveals a masterpiece of existential drama about human existence. Christopher Ventris and Waltraud Meier lead an inspired cast in a high definition recording in true surround sound.
"It is by a long way the most thoughtful, positive and penetrating view of Parsifal that I have encountered." (The Times)
"Nikolaus Lehnhoffs production of Parsifal was staged by ENO in 1999. It has since travelled the world and here comes from last years Baden-Baden Festival. Its a provocative but effective interpretation, in which the Knights of the Grail are struggling to hang on to life in a post-apocalyptic world (a symbolic meteorite dominates the set in Act I). Its a grim vision, but one that works with the established plot; and Lehnhoffs final suggestion of Parsifal leading the others on to a new life without the organised religion that has so patently failed them is inspiring in these over-zealous times. It would be hard to assemble a better cast today." (BBC Music Magazine)
"This is a fascinating interpretation of the Parsifal legend. Nikolaus Lehnhoff's production may be known to English readers from ENO. In Lehnhoff's eyes, 'Wagner's music mercilessly tells of total loneliness, of living in an empty world stripped of all its former meaning'. The Knights of the Holy Grail 'have over time lost sight of their roots'; most tellingly perhaps, Lehnhoff tells us that, 'Parsifal is an endgame in the wasteland'...Well worth watching and listening. This is an interesting take on one of the greatest dramas ever written." (Musicweb International)
'Parsifal's Progress' - 60 minute documentary analysis including interviews with Kent Nagano, Nikolaus Lehnhoff, Christopher Ventris, Waltraud Meier and many others.Audio Synopsis and Cast gallery.